game

A game is a contest or pastime. Football, checkers, Monopoly, volleyball, Ms. Pacman — they're all fun games to play.

Some games are simple, like Connect Four or Tic Tac Toe. Others are played for millions of dollars, like professional basketball. Games usually have winners and losers, and people play them because they're fun. Other meanings of this word have less to do with playing: If you're a salesperson, you could say you're in the sales game. Wild animals that you hunt and eat are called game. And being game can mean you have disabled feet or legs.

Definitions of game
  1. noun
    an amusement or pastime
    “they played word games
    “he thought of his painting as a game that filled his empty time”
    “his life was all fun and games
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    catch
    a cooperative game in which a ball is passed back and forth
    party game
    a game to amuse guests at a party
    computer game, video game
    a game played against a computer
    pinball, pinball game
    a game played on a sloping board; the object is to propel marbles against pins or into pockets
    guessing game
    a game in which participants compete to identify some obscurely indicated thing
    ducks and drakes
    a game in which a flat stone is bounced along the surface of calm water
    mind game
    any game designed to exercise the intellect
    hare and hounds, paper chase
    an outdoor game; one group of players (the hares) start off on a long run scattering bits of paper (the scent) and pursuers (the hounds) try to catch them before they reach a designated spot
    ring-a-rosy, ring-around-a-rosy, ring-around-the-rosy
    a children's game in which the players dance around in a circle and at a given signal all squat
    prisoner's base
    a children's game; two teams capture opposing players by tagging them and taking them to their own base
    treasure hunt
    a game in which players try to find hidden articles by using a series of clues
    virtual reality
    a hypothetical three-dimensional visual world created by a computer; user wears special goggles and fiber optic gloves etc., and can enter and move about in this world and interact with objects as if inside it
    pachinko
    a Japanese pinball game played on a vertical board
    charades
    player acts out a phrase for others to guess
    type of:
    diversion, recreation
    an activity that diverts or amuses or stimulates
  2. noun
    a contest with rules to determine a winner
    “you need four people to play this game
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    curling
    a game played on ice in which heavy stones with handles are slid toward a target
    bowling
    a game in which balls are rolled at an object or group of objects with the aim of knocking them over or moving them
    pall-mall
    a 17th century game; a wooden ball was driven along an alley with a mallet
    athletic game
    a game involving athletic activity
    child's game
    a game enjoyed by children
    card game, cards
    a game played with playing cards
    table game
    a game that is played on a table
    parlor game, parlour game
    a game suitable for playing in a parlor
    gambling game, game of chance
    a game that involves gambling
    zero-sum game
    a game in which the total of all the gains and losses is zero
    dreidel
    a game of chance played with a dreidel during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah
    trivia
    a competition or quizzing game in which contestants are asked about obscure or miscellaneous facts
    tenpin bowling, tenpins
    bowling down an alley at a target of ten wooden pins
    ninepins, skittles
    a bowling game that is played by rolling a bowling ball down a bowling alley at a target of nine wooden pins
    duckpins
    a bowling game using a pin smaller than a tenpin but proportionately wider
    candlepin bowling, candlepins
    a bowling game using slender bowling pins
    bowls, lawn bowling
    a bowling game played on a level lawn with biased wooden balls that are rolled at a jack
    bocce, bocci, boccie
    Italian bowling played on a long narrow dirt court
    hockey, hockey game, ice hockey
    a game played on an ice rink by two opposing teams of six skaters each who try to knock a flat round puck into the opponents' goal with angled sticks
    tetherball
    a game with two players who use rackets to strike a ball that is tethered to the top of a pole; the object is to wrap the string around the pole
    water polo
    a game played in a swimming pool by two teams of swimmers who try to throw an inflated ball into the opponents' goal
    outdoor game
    an athletic game that is played outdoors
    court game
    an athletic game played on a court
    blindman's bluff, blindman's buff
    a children's game in which a blindfolded player tries to catch and identify other players
    cat and mouse, cat and rat
    a game for children in which the players form a circle and join hands; they raise their hands to let a player inside the circle or lower their hands to bar a second player who is chasing the first
    cat's cradle
    a game played with string looped over the fingers
    hide and go seek, hide-and-seek
    a game in which a child covers his eyes while the other players hide then tries to find them
    hopscotch
    a game in which a child tosses a stone into an area drawn on the ground and then hops through it and back to regain the stone
    jacks, jackstones, knucklebones
    a game in which jackstones are thrown and picked up in various groups between bounces of a small rubber ball
    jackstraws, spillikins
    a game in which players try to pick each jackstraw (or spillikin) off of a pile without moving any of the others
    jump rope
    a child's game or a cardiopulmonary exercise in which the player jumps over a swinging rope
    leapfrog
    a game in which one child bends down and another leaps over
    marbles
    a children's game played with little balls made of a hard substance (as glass)
    mumble-the-peg, mumblety-peg
    a game in which players throw or flip a jackknife in various ways so that the knife sticks in the ground
    going to Jerusalem, musical chairs
    a child's game in which players march to music around a group of chairs that contains one chair less than the number of players; when the music abruptly stops the players scramble to sit and the player who does not find a chair is eliminated; then a chair is removed and the march resumes until only the winner is seated
    bopeep, peekaboo
    a game played with young children; you hide your face and suddenly reveal it as you say boo!
    pillow fight
    a child's game of fighting with pillows
    post office
    a children's game in which kisses are exchanged for pretended letters
    spin the bottle
    a game in which a player spins a bottle and kisses the person that it points to when it stops spinning
    spin the plate, spin the platter
    a game in which something round (as a plate) is spun on edge and the name of a player is called; the named player must catch the spinning object before it falls or pay a forfeit
    tag
    a game in which one child chases the others; the one who is caught becomes the next chaser
    tiddlywinks
    a game in which players try to flip plastic disks into a cup by pressing them on the side sharply with a larger disk
    all fours, high-low-jack
    card games in which points are won for taking the high or low or jack or game
    baccarat, chemin de fer
    a card game played in casinos in which two or more punters gamble against the banker; the player wins who holds 2 or 3 cards that total closest to nine
    beggar-my-neighbor, beggar-my-neighbour, strip-Jack-naked
    a card game for two players in which the object is to win all of the other player's cards
    blackjack, twenty-one, vingt-et-un
    a gambling game using cards; the object is to hold cards having a higher count than those dealt to the banker up to but not exceeding 21
    bridge
    any of various card games based on whist for four players
    casino, cassino
    a card game in which cards face up on the table are taken with eligible cards in the hand
    crib, cribbage
    a card game (usually for two players) in which each player is dealt six cards and discards one or two
    ecarte
    a card game for 2 players; played with 32 cards and king high
    euchre, five hundred
    a card game similar to ecarte; each player is dealt 5 cards and the player making trump must take 3 tricks to win a hand
    fantan, parliament, sevens
    a card game in which you play your sevens and other cards in sequence in the same suit as the sevens; you win if you are the first to use all your cards
    faro
    a card game in which players bet against the dealer on the cards he will draw from a dealing box
    Go Fish
    a card game for two players who try to assemble books of cards by asking the opponent for particular cards
    four-card monte, monte, three-card monte
    a gambling card game of Spanish origin; 3 or 4 cards are dealt face up and players bet that one of them will be matched before the others as the cards are dealt from the pack one at a time
    Chicago, Michigan, Newmarket, boodle, stops
    a gambling card game in which chips are placed on the ace and king and queen and jack of separate suits (taken from a separate deck); a player plays the lowest card of a suit in his hand and successively higher cards are played until the sequence stops; the player who plays a card matching one in the layout wins all the chips on that card
    Napoleon, nap
    a card game similar to whist; usually played for stakes
    old maid
    a card game using a pack of cards from which one queen has been removed; players match cards and the player holding the unmatched queen at the end of the game is the loser (or `old maid')
    bezique, penuchle, pinochle, pinocle
    a card game played with a pack of forty-eight cards (two of each suit for high cards); play resembles whist
    piquet
    a card game for two players using a reduced pack of 32 cards
    pisha paysha
    (Yiddish) a card game for two players one of whom is usually a child; the deck is place face down with one card face upward; players draw from the deck alternately hoping to build up or down from the open card; the player with the fewest cards when the deck is exhausted is the winner
    poker, poker game
    any of various card games in which players bet that they hold the highest-ranking hand
    rouge et noir, trente-et-quarante
    a card game in which two rows of cards are dealt and players can bet on the color of the cards or on which row will have a count nearer some number
    rum, rummy
    a card game based on collecting sets and sequences; the winner is the first to meld all their cards
    patience, solitaire
    a card game played by one person
    long whist, short whist, whist
    a card game for four players who form two partnerships; a pack of 52 cards is dealt and each side scores one point for each trick it takes in excess of six
    Ping-Pong, table tennis
    a game (trademark Ping-Pong) resembling tennis but played on a table with paddles and a light hollow ball
    dominoes, dominos
    any of several games played with small rectangular blocks
    nim
    game in which matchsticks are arranged in rows and players alternately remove one or more of them; in some versions the object is to take the last remaining matchstick on the table and in other versions the object is to avoid taking the last remaining matchstick on the table
    billiards
    any of several games played on rectangular cloth-covered table (with cushioned edges) in which long tapering cue sticks are used to propel ivory (or composition) balls
    pocket billiards, pool
    any of various games played on a pool table having 6 pockets
    bagatelle, bar billiards
    a table game in which short cues are used to knock balls into holes that are guarded by wooden pegs; penalties are incurred if the pegs are knocked over
    word game
    any game involving the formation or alteration or discovery of words
    board game
    a game played on a specially designed board
    fan tan, fantan
    a Chinese gambling game; a random number of counters are placed under a bowl and you gamble on how many will be left (0, 1, 2, or 3 modulo 4)
    drawing, lottery
    players buy (or are given) chances and prizes are distributed by casting lots
    craps
    a gambling game played with two dice; a first throw of 7 or 11 wins and a first throw of 2, 3, or 12 loses and a first throw of any other number must be repeated to win before a 7 is thrown, which loses the bet and the dice
    roulette
    a gambling game in which players bet on which compartment of a revolving wheel a small ball will come to rest in
    banking game
    any gambling game in which bets are laid against the gambling house or the dealer
    type of:
    activity
    any specific behavior
  3. noun
    a single play of a sport or other contest
    “the game lasted two hours”
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    away game, road game
    a game played away from home
    home game
    a game played at home
    exhibition game, practice game
    a game whose outcome is not recorded in the season's standing
    nightcap
    the final game of a double header
    double feature, doubleheader, twin bill
    two games instead of one (especially in baseball when the same two teams play two games on the same day)
    playoff game
    one game in the series of games constituting a playoff
    cup tie
    an eliminating game between teams in a cup competition
    type of:
    competition, contest
    an occasion on which a winner is selected from among two or more contestants
  4. noun
    (tennis) a division of play during which one player serves
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    division, part, section
    one of the portions into which something is regarded as divided and which together constitute a whole
  5. noun
    (games) the score at a particular point or the score needed to win
    “the game is 6 all”
    “he is serving for the game
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    score
    a number that expresses the accomplishment of a team or an individual in a game or contest
  6. noun
    the game equipment needed in order to play a particular game
    “the child received several games for his birthday”
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    puzzle
    a game that tests your ingenuity
    Chinese puzzle
    intricate or ingenious puzzle consisting of boxes within boxes
    jigsaw puzzle
    a puzzle that requires you to reassemble a picture that has been mounted on a stiff base and cut into interlocking pieces
    tangram
    a Chinese puzzle consisting of a square divided into seven pieces that must be arranged to match particular designs
    crossword, crossword puzzle
    a puzzle in which words corresponding to numbered clues are to be found and written in to squares in the puzzle
    type of:
    game equipment
    equipment or apparatus used in playing a game
  7. adjective
    willing to face danger
    synonyms: gamey, gamy, gritty, mettlesome, spirited, spunky
    brave, courageous
    possessing or displaying courage; able to face and deal with danger or fear without flinching
  8. verb
    place a bet on
    synonyms: back, bet on, gage, punt, stake
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    ante
    place one's stake
    double up, parlay
    stake winnings from one bet on a subsequent wager
    type of:
    bet, play, wager
    stake on the outcome of an issue
  9. noun
    frivolous or trifling behavior
    “for actors, memorizing lines is no game
    “for him, life is all fun and games
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    caper, frolic, gambol, play, romp
    gay or light-hearted recreational activity for diversion or amusement
  10. noun
    a secret scheme to do something (especially something underhand or illegal)
    “I saw through his little game from the start”
    synonyms: plot, secret plan
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    counterplan, counterplot
    a plot intended to subvert another plot
    intrigue, machination
    a crafty and involved plot to achieve your (usually sinister) ends
    cabal, conspiracy
    a plot to carry out some harmful or illegal act (especially a political plot)
    priestcraft
    a derogatory reference to priests who use their influence to control secular or political affairs
    Gunpowder Plot
    a conspiracy in 1605 in England to blow up James I and the Houses of Parliament to avenge the persecution of Catholics in England; led by Guy Fawkes
    type of:
    scheme, strategy
    an elaborate and systematic plan of action
  11. noun
    your occupation or line of work
    “he's in the plumbing game
    synonyms: biz
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    business, job, line, line of work, occupation
    the principal activity in your life that you do to earn money
  12. noun
    animal hunted for food or sport
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    big game
    large animals that are hunted for sport
    game bird
    any bird (as grouse or pheasant) that is hunted for sport
    grouse
    popular game bird having a plump body and feathered legs and feet
    phasianid
    a kind of game bird in the family Phasianidae
    partridge, tinamou
    heavy-bodied small-winged South American game bird resembling a gallinaceous bird but related to the ratite birds
    type of:
    animal, animate being, beast, brute, creature, fauna
    a living organism characterized by voluntary movement
  13. noun
    the flesh of wild animals that is used for food
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    venison
    meat from a deer used as food
    buffalo
    meat from an American bison
    hare, rabbit
    flesh of any of various rabbits or hares (wild or domesticated) eaten as food
    type of:
    meat
    the flesh of animals (including fishes and birds and snails) used as food
  14. adjective
    disabled in the feet or legs
    “a game leg”
    synonyms: crippled, gimpy, halt, halting, lame
    unfit
    not in good physical or mental condition; out of condition
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